STORES Magazine - June 2011 - (Page 14)

EXECUTIVE SUITE / RETAIL PEOPLE Curating the Conversation Shauna Mei CEO and co-founder New York City S hauna Mei heads, an online purveyor of products with a sense of discovery. The idea was to create a network of influential curators in search of the best, most innovative and hard-tofind products from fashion, tech, food and design — items notable for their inherent education, inspiration and enjoyment that add up to an “a-ha” moment. AHAlife, I realized I was bombarded with so many new “hip” brands, especially in fashion, that tried really hard and invested millions and millions of dollars to speak to me. It was like every single woman was supposed to be running around like Carrie Bradshaw and all we were supposed to care about were shoes and handbags. It’s not as if the world really needs another fashion brand. So I thought about the areas of my life where I felt there wasn’t a conversation and started making a list of what I care about: wellness and fitness, design and travel. I also like learning about different causes and different people. I started seeking out contacts proactively, but there wasn’t anyone to have that conversation with me, so we built a team to do that. What’s the story behind the team? Mei previously founded Mobius Strip LLC, a company dedicated to creating responsible, inspiring and profitable businesses at the intersection of fashion/design and life’s experiences. Prior to Mobius Strip, Mei was CEO of Casall International, a Swedish wellness lifestyle company. Mei also cofounded Aronsson Group, a luxury fashion investment and advisory firm, with Jeffry Aronsson. What inspired you to create We have a group of curators that help us source products. So by starting with experts vs. going out and finding a product, we The very beginning of the idea started with realizing the power that females have and realizing that, especially in America, we control 80 percent of the consumption power. But there was also an emotional component. As a woman I found there was an across-the-board void in companies that spoke to me as well as other intelligent and globally minded females. Having worked in the luxury market for five years prior to starting 14 STORES / JUNE 2011 don’t have to build a large buying team and then say, “Okay, we’re going to start buying flatware for the site.” Instead, we go to that expert who knows the space better than anyone else. We have a sense of what people really want because these experts have seen so much over their years in the field. Why a flash site? The traditional offline space has become so clunky and expensive and very, very difficult to navigate, so it made perfect sense to do something like this online. We didn’t hammer the fact that the items are always available; it’s just that we refresh our pages after 24 hours, much WWW.STORES.ORG http://WWW.STORES.ORG

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of STORES Magazine - June 2011

Stores - June 2011
Editor’s Page
President’s Page
Retail People
CEO Compensation
Customer Service
Business Strategy
What We’ve Learned
Loss Prevention Supplier Directory
Customer Rewards
Business Management
Social Media
Planning Solutions
Loyalty Programs
Business Intelligence
Store Operations
Divisional Update
NRF News
Point of View
Retail Industry Calendar
End Cap

STORES Magazine - June 2011